I-GO Car Sharing, the nonprofit car sharing service, is installing 11 solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations in Chicago, Evanston, and Oak Park over the next several weeks. The Chicago-based company is midway through a $2.5 million project that will add 36 all-electric vehicles to its fleet and 18 solar charging stations to power its cars.
The solar stations will be completed in early 2012 and are backed by grants from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, the Chicago Area Clean Cities Partnership, and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. The I-GO project is part of a larger build-out of charging infrastructure for public use in the Chicago area.
350Green LLC, a Los Angeles-based company building the stations, cut its costs in half for the $8.9 million project, thanks to a $2 million package of federal and state grants along with federal tax credits.
Each solar charging station will form a canopy that covers four parking spaces and will be able to power two electric vehicles. Two spaces will be reserved for I-GO at each location, and the others will be available to the public. Each canopy will be topped with 44 solar panels.
In aggregate, the canopies will produce about 200,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually, which will power as many as 600,000 miles driven per year, the company said. 350Green will install the solar canopies.
If you are interested in learning more about energy systems as they relate to transportation, Roosevelt seminars including SUST 320 Sprawl, Transportation, and Planning (offered this spring online) and SUST 310 Energy and Climate Change (also offered this spring online) may be of interest. For more information on these or any other of our courses, please visit our Sustainability Studies website, call 1-877-277-5978 (1-877-APPLY RU) or email applyRU@roosevelt.edu.